European Euonymus, Common Spindle Tree u-ON-i-mus u-ro-PEE-us
- Deciduous shrub or small tree, 12-30 ft (3.5-9 m) tall and 10-25 ft (3-7.5 m) wide, narrow, upright, broadening with age, rounded outline. Branches green with corky stripes. Leaves simple, opposite, elliptic-ovate to lance-oblong to obovate, 2.5-9 cm long and 0.8-3 cm wide, acuminate tip, wedge-shaped base, margin crenate-serrate, dull dark green and glabrous (without hairs), selections may have good fall color. Flowers in small clusters of 3-5, 4-petaled, yellow-green, about 1 cm wide, not showy. Fruit pink to red, to 2 cm wide, 4-lobed, opening to expose orange seeds in fall, showy. Seeds are considered poisonous, they contain a number of toxins, including cardiotoxic glycosides.
- Sun to part shade. Soil adaptable, if well-drained. Tough plant, can be grown as a hedge.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native to Europe and western Asia. Birds may spread the seeds and can become invasive and weedy.
- Several selections available, less so in western US, some of the more common cultivars include:
- Aldenhamensis - upright, vigorous, red fall color, fruit pink.
- Atrorubens - green leaves turn purple in early summer, fruit dark pink to red
- Red Ace - to 15 ft (4.5 m), orange-red fall color, fruit rose red, opening to show orange seeds.
- Red Cap - abundant fruit, bright red with orange seeds, similar or the same as 'Red Cascade'.
- europaeus: of Europe